Shipping Container Houses

Here’s an interesting article about some great examples of people using shipping containers for houses.  At the bottom of that article there’s a link to other great examples of shipping containers being used for homes and businesses (I really like the illy push button house, although I’m not too sure how it functions when it rains).

Given the right locale and purpose these shipping containers can provide a viable option for housing people and businesses.  And the strategy of implementing these shipping containers should not be limited to the finite size of the container itself.  Some of these examples (and these examples)demonstrate that these containers can be used to create and define space larger than just the container itself.  Even Bob Vila reveals how you could build a container house within 90 days.

This method is very similar to pre-fabrication construction, whether it’s involving the entire building to be constructed off-site or large pieces being delivered and assembled on the site.  Just like any method for creating architecture it doesn’t provide everything to everyone, but it does incorporate the belief and idea of using what we’re given and making the best out of it.  The shipping containers are strong enough to ship goods across the world, weather-tight to protect the goods, and are resistant to mold and termites – everything you would want in a home.


4 thoughts on “Shipping Container Houses

  1. Eric Post author

    Here’s another website with more information on shipping containers being used for homes – Just like other building types and materials there are some great examples of shipping container homes and there are some very bad examples.

    Even if you don’t like the idea of having a home with the aesthetics of a shipping container it’s actually very simple to apply a more architectural appearance to it (note: “more architectural appearance” is completely subjective, as the way it should be). Regardless of the aesthetics of shipping containers, they provide an excellent foundation for adding onto.

  2. Wendy

    I think this is a great idea for housing.
    My question’s would be ,(What about rust?)An(Where can I purchase them.)

  3. Eric Post author

    As far as purchasing a shipping container, I’ve seen them for sale in places like ebay and along side of the interstate highway (I-70 in Missouri to be exact). I would do some internet searches for “buy shipping container” and I’m sure you’ll find adequate resources for purchasing one.

    They are constructed of steel, so like everything else made of steel it will rust. Despite not being constructed to last forever, they were built to withstand the rigors of transoceanic voyages so they should be durable for most locales. I would still provide some type of weather protection on them, whether it be some type of coating or a built-up exterior wall. Like I’ve stated before there’s no reason why a shipping container house needs to look like a shipping container. The container provides an excellent shell for which to build upon, and providing a non-loadbearing exterior wall system shouldn’t be that much of an additional cost. This exterior wall system could also provide much needed insulation as well as protect the steel from rusting.


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